“When Patients Don’t Fill Their Prescriptions” discusses the problem of medication nonadherence among patients, which refers to the failure of patients to follow their prescribed medications. Nonadherence is a significant concern for healthcare providers because it can lead to complications and worse health outcomes for patients. In a study conducted by Harvard Medical School, it was discovered that more than 20% of first-time patient prescriptions were never filled, indicating that primary nonadherence is a major issue. Certain patterns of nonadherence also exist, with first-time prescriptions for chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes more likely not to be filled. Nonadherence can be caused by affordability, physician-patient communication, and the process of filling out a prescription. The study suggests that better integration and easier access to medications through electronic medical records can improve adherence rates. Overall, medication nonadherence is a complex issue that requires healthcare providers and patients to work together to find solutions to improve medication compliance.
In one study, as many as half of all patients did not follow their doctors advice when it came to medications. Other studies have shown that patients who were nonadherent with medications for chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure were likely to be sicker, suffer from more complications and have higher mortality rates. The overall cost of medication nonadherence? More than $170 billion annually in the United States alone.
When Patients Don’t Fill Their Prescriptions, Pauline W. Chen, M.D., New York Times